Meck County court modifies schedule after COVID-19 outbreak shuts down most operations

MECKLENBURG COUNTY, N.C. — The Mecklenburg County Courthouse will have modified court operations starting Monday.

This comes after the courthouse was closed during the week of Aug. 9 after five employees tested positive for coronavirus and dozens were told to quarantine.

Court offices will stay open; however, unless you are required to be in-person to conduct business, attorneys and the public should use email and phones to communicate with courthouse staff, officials said Friday in a news release.

The Clerk of Superior Court will be open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Access to public records will be available by appointment only during those times.

Click here for a quick reference guide to the modified court operations.

The court announced during the closure that anyone who had a case or was scheduled for jury duty during the closure will be rescheduled. First appearances will be done via video link.

According to court officials, five Mecklenburg County Courthouse employees tested positive for COVID-19 and at least twenty-nine employees were directed to quarantine. Officials also said that a number of others have reported symptoms of the virus and are awaiting test results.

Court officials released a statement Tuesday that the building was supposed to reopen on Wednesday, but after careful assessment the closure was extended through the end of the week.

County health officials said continued cancellation of court proceedings and closure of the courthouse were necessary to prevent and slow the spread of COVID-19 among court personnel and the public.

According to officials, the full extent of the outbreak is still being investigated.

Statement from Mecklenburg County’s DA’s office:

“We’re continuing to monitor the situation developing at the courthouse, and we will be prepared to work with whatever capacity public health circumstances will allow. Court employees are absolutely critical to the work of justice, and our thoughts are with all court personnel who are currently fighting COVID-19 and all those who are in quarantine.”

(WATCH: Courts face backlogs due to COVID-19 shutdowns as families wait for justice)